Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Drifting Together

It won't surprise MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's fans that her new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, explores how those who wage war have become less accountable to the public. It might surprise them Fox News founder Roger Ailes gave her a blurb. When it comes to issues of war and peace, are the left and right converging? Maddow explored the possibility in a March 27 conversation with Terry Gross on "Fresh Air":

I think the discomfort that we have as civilians in terms of our distance from the military that's been fighting these wars for 10 years is something that people feel on the left and people feel on the right. And I think the problematic political decisions that got us to this point were not made, mostly, for ideological reasons. They were made by politicians on the left and the right for what they thought were pragmatic short-term reasons.

And they've had long-term problematic consequences. And I think Republicans and Democrats are getting closer to each other in terms of how fast we should end the Afghanistan War, for example. I think Republicans and Democrats are finding a lot of overlap among themselves on whether or not the defense budget is where it ought to be.

This is just one of those issues where there isn't a real sharp right/left axis. And I know because I am a liberal and I am known as a liberal, that people might have thought this was going to be a real liberal, anti-war book. This isn't a liberal anti-war book. It's a book about the politics of making war and whether or not they've changed in a way that's bad for the country.

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